Offbeat Google unveils new phones, speakers to counter Amazon, Apple

11:07  05 october  2017
11:07  05 october  2017 Source:   Associated Press

What's next for Amazon Alexa? We're about to find out

  What's next for Amazon Alexa? We're about to find out It seems rather doubtful that Amazon will bring out its own branded smartphone again anytime soon, as I wrote in this piece yesterday. It seems rather doubtful that Amazon will bring out its own branded smartphone again anytime soon, as I wrote in this piece yesterday. We all know how the Amazon Fire Phone introduced in 2014 was a high-profile flop, relegated to the scrap heap a year later. I can't imagine Jeff Bezos & Co. wants to revisit the smartphone biz directly.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google on Wednesday unveiled new phones , smart speakers and other devices infused with artificial intelligence in its bid to claim the high ground against rivals Amazon and Apple .

SAN FRANCISCO _ Google on Wednesday unveiled new phones , smart speakers and other devices infused with artificial intelligence in its bid to claim the high ground against rivals Amazon and Apple . ___ NEW PHONES .

Google's Mario Queiroz speaks about the Google Pixel 2 XL phones at a Google event at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)© The Associated Press Google's Mario Queiroz speaks about the Google Pixel 2 XL phones at a Google event at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SAN FRANCISCO — Google on Wednesday unveiled new phones, smart speakers and other devices infused with artificial intelligence in its bid to claim the high ground against rivals Amazon and Apple.

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NEW PHONES

The second generation of Google's Pixel phones unveiled Wednesday feature larger, brighter screens that take up more of the phone's front, changes that Apple is also making with its iPhone X scheduled to be released next month.

Google is making a new smart speaker with better sound to compete with Amazon Echo and Apple's HomePod

  Google is making a new smart speaker with better sound to compete with Amazon Echo and Apple's HomePod <p>Google is working on a premium version of its Google Home smart speaker called Google Home "Max" that will play music in stereo, according to 9to5Google.</p>That means the Google Home Max could come with more built-in speakers than the current model to produce stereo sound.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google on Wednesday unveiled new phones , smart speakers and other devices infused with artificial intelligence in its bid to claim the high ground against rivals Amazon and Apple .

Google on Wednesday unveiled new phones , smart speakers and other devices infused with artificial intelligence in its bid to claim the high ground against rivals Amazon and Apple .

Both the 6-inch Pixel XL and the 5-inch Pixel will also do away with the headphone jack, something Apple did with the iPhone 7 last year.

Google also souped up the already highly rated camera on the Pixel, boasting that it will take even better photos than the iPhone.

The smaller Pixel will sell for almost $650, $50 less than the iPhone 8. The Pixel XL will sell for almost $850, or $50 more than the iPhone 8 Plus. Prices for the iPhone X start at $1,000.

Google also announced wireless headphones, called Pixel Buds. In addition to relaying audio from the phone, the headphones can also translate spoken language in real time, working with translation software built into the new Pixels.

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SMART SPEAKERS

The Google Home Mini unveiled Wednesday is a button-sized speaker covered in fabric. It includes the same features featured in a cylindrical speaker that Google rolled out last year in response to Amazon's Echo .

Google is reportedly prepping a high-end Home 'Max'

  Google is reportedly prepping a high-end Home 'Max' Google Home users looking for a higher-end audio experience may just have their wish.&nbsp;This isn't the first leak ahead of Google's upcoming October 4th event. There have been plenty of reports and rumors about the company's new Pixel smartphones, updated Daydream View VR headset and another speaker variant, the Google Home Mini.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google on Wednesday unveiled new phones , smart speakers and other devices infused with artificial intelligence in its bid to claim the high ground against rivals Amazon and Apple .

Google on Wednesday unveiled new phones , smart speakers and other devices infused with artificial intelligence in its bid to claim the high ground against rivals Amazon and Apple . NEW PHONES . The second generation of Google 's Pixel phones unveiled Wednesday feature larger

The Mini will cost almost $50, roughly the small price as Amazon's smaller speaker, the Echo Dot. The standard Google Home speaker costs almost $130. Last week, Amazon announced the next generation of its Echo speaker, coming out in time for the holiday shopping season, will cost just $100, a price that Google decided not to match.

The Google Home Max is a rectangular speaker with superior acoustics for playing music, mimicking Apple's HomePod.

Like Apple with the HomePod, Google is promising that its Max speaker will learn your musical tastes so it can become a digital DJ that automatically selects tunes that you'll enjoy. But the Max speaker will work with a wider range of music-streaming services than the HomePod, which is designed to be a companion to Apple Music.

Google is selling the Home Max for almost $400, about $50 more than the HomePod. Both speakers are due to hit stores in December.

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AI TAKES CENTER STAGE

Google's voice-activated digital assistant will serve as the brains for all the speakers, just as Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri run their competing devices.

All three technology companies are trying to establish their assistants as prescient concierges that understand people's needs and desires to help them better manage their homes and lives.

Google is counting on the knowledge that it has accumulated through its dominant search engine to make its assistant far more intelligent than either Alexa or Siri, giving it an edge over its rivals over time.

How to choose the best smart speaker for you .
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